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Bios

James G. Blight | Producer |More

James G. Blight is Chair of Foreign Policy Development at the Centre for International Governance Innovation and Professor at the Balsillie School of International Affairs. Blight grew up in Flint, Michigan; and following a short career as a minor league baseball player (pitcher, Detroit Tigers organization), he earned his PhD in cognitive psychology. Subsequently, Blight served as director of the Avoiding Nuclear War project at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government to develop a pioneering research method called critical oral history. At Harvard and at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies, Blight employed critical oral history to investigate the Cuban missile crisis, the Vietnam War, and the collapse of US-Soviet relations. A recent focus of his research is US-Iran relations since the Islamic Revolution, undertaken with colleagues at MIT and George Washington University. He is the author of a dozen books on the recent history of U.S. foreign policy.

In addition to more traditional research and writing, Blight has been heavily involved in the making of films. He served as principal substantive adviser to Errol Morris, during the three years his film, THE FOG OF WAR, was in production. The film won the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2004. Blight also produced VIRTUAL JFK, which was released in 2008.

 

janet M. Lang | Producer

janet M. Lang is Research Professor at the Balsillie School of International Affairs and was formerly Associate Research Professor of International Relations at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies, where she was co-director of the Critical Oral History Project. She has been the project director for nearly two dozen international conferences: on the Cuban missile crisis, the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Vietnam war, and the collapse of U.S.-Soviet detente during the Carter administration. Lang is the co-author of: Becoming Enemies, a book about the U.S. role in the Iran-Iraq War; THE FOG OF WAR, a book that accompanies the Academy Award winning Errol Morris film; and VIRTUAL JFK, a companion book to the film by Koji Masutani.

Lang received a PhD in cognitive psychology and psycholinguistics from the University of New Hampshire; a MS and ScD in epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health; and a MPA from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. International security and conflict prevention is Lang's third full-fledged career. Following her treatment for breast cancer and a rare blood cancer in 2000, Lang has devoted her research and teaching exclusively to international affairs, in collaboration with her colleague and husband, James Blight.

 

Don Morrison | Executive Producer

Don Morrison was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for BlackBerry at Research in Motion (RIM). Since Morrison's retirement from RIM in 2011, he has been actively involved in exploring the practical application of secular and existential ethics given where we are right now in our global evolution. Morrison's work at the Mind and Life Institute, at the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values and his own initiative, "The Compassion Project", seek to explore the causal relationship between a person's inner transformation and their external behavior, particularly exploring how a "mindfulness" discipline can transform an individual to become a more effective leader and human being.

In addition, Morrison is involved in many philanthropic endeavors through his Family Foundation. Most particularly, the work of Free the Children both in North America and overseas in countries like Kenya and India. Morrison is also a member of the Board of the Master Card Foundation and is Chairman of The Digital Identification and Authentication Council for Canada.

 

David Welch | Co-Producer

David A. Welch is CIGI Chair of Global Security at the Balsillie School of International Affairs and Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo. His 2005 book Painful Choices: A Theory of Foreign Policy Change (Princeton University Press) is the inaugural winner of the International Studies Association ISSS Book Award for the best book published in 2005 or 2006, and his 1993 book Justice and the Genesis of War (Cambridge University Press) is the winner of the 1994 Edgar S. Furniss Award for an Outstanding Contribution to National Security Studies.

 

Peter Almond | Consulting Producer

Peter Almond is a producer and filmmaker. Over several decades, he has combined public service, policy studies, journalism, film writing and producing. Almond has worked with Armyan Bernstein and Kevin Costner on projects at Beacon Pictures, including OPEN RANGETHIRTEEN DAYS, and the upcoming A LITTLE WAR OF OUR OWN to be directed by Costner. Almond resides in both New York City and Budapest, Hungary. Almond played rugby at Yale, and graduated in 1965.

 

Ben Collier | Consulting Producer

Ben Collier is Director of Strategic Marketing Initiatives at American Express Publishing and was formerly Global Brand Manager and Centurion Senior Product Manager at American Express. He holds a Master's of Science from Columbia University in Strategic Communications with a Branding Concentration, and a BA in Art-Semiotics from Brown University. His honors thesis documentary film about vintage baseball runs on Rhode Island PBS, ran at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and was a Best Documentary Nominee at the Ivy Film Festival in 2003. Collier's career is focused on development, advertising, branding, and marketing. He is also a freelance photographer and filmmaker.

 

Koji Masutani | Producer | Creator

Koji Masutani is a filmmaker at the Balsillie School of International Affairs and was formerly a Visiting Fellow at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies. He holds a BA in International Relations from Brown University. Masutani is director of VIRTUAL JFK (2008), which was nominated for the Special Jury Prize and Best International Feature Documentary at the HotDocs Film Festival in Toronto. The film premiered at New York’s Film Forum, was theatrically released in over 50 North American cities, and has broadcasted in multiple countries including the U.S. (Documentary Channel), Japan (NHK), and Australia (SBSONE).

Masutani’s short films have screened at the 2004 and 2005 Cannes Film Festivals. He received photography training from cinematographer Christopher Doyle (IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE; 2046).

 

Karen Lynch | Communications Director |More

Karen Lynch manages media relations and social media for The Armageddon Letters. She is a former communications director at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies and previously held the positions of communications and content director at the World Bank’s Development Gateway Foundation and director of the Markle Foundation’s Global Digital Opportunity Program. She began her career as a journalist and editor covering the global telecommunication and internet sectors.

 

Kristopher Young | Filmmaker |More

Kristopher Young is a filmmaker for The Armageddon Letters. He is currently the Multimedia Editor at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), an independent, nonpartisan think tank focused on global governance. Young is also a Video Coach with Hockey Canada, working with the National Women's Under 22 Team. He has formerly held positions as Creative Director of a marketing firm and Marketing Director of a minor pro hockey team. Young is a filmmaker who obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Film Studies at Brock University.